Frigid Weather Blamed for Broken Pipe in Terrence Murphy Hall

A frozen pipe that burst in Terrence Murphy Hall on the University of St. Thomas’ downtown Minneapolis campus Tuesday evening caused a mess but no major damage.

Jim Brummer, associate vice president for facilities, said the broken pipe was located in the ceiling of the vestibule of the main entrance to the building and was part of the water-sprinkler system.

The location of the broken pipe was between the vestibule’s first set of doors and second set of doors. Sustained cold weather the last several days caused temperatures in the vestibule to dip below freezing and water in the pipe to freeze.

Brummer said the pipe broke at about 9:45 p.m. and was leaking for about 20 minutes. The Minneapolis Fire Department responded and turned off water to the sprinkler system.

St. Thomas crews worked during the night to clean up the water and dry carpets. Brummer said about 500 square feet of flooring had to be mopped and dried. He estimated that the cost of repairing the pipe and vestibule ceiling, and cleaning up the water, will run between $5,000 and $8,000.

Terrence Murphy Hall opened in 1992 and was the first building on the university’s Minneapolis campus.